Wealth of resources in charming local springs

By China Daily| (Ju Chuanjiang)| Updated : 2018-05-18

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There are more than 800 springs in Jinan, including 219 in its urban areas, making the city a unique destination for tourists. Ju Chuanjiang / China Daily.

Tourists to Jinan can see the most charming part of the city's artesian springs when it hosts the Festival of Springs on Aug 28.

Abundant rainfall in the past two months has increased the water level in well-known springs such as Black Tiger and Baotu to new heights, adding to their attractiveness.

Jinan is also known as China's "Captial of Springs". Last year, nearly 56 million people from home and abroad visited Jinan, generating 65.79 billion yuan ($10.6 billion) in revenue, up 14.7 percent from 2013.

The latest survey shows that the city has more than 800 springs, including 219 in the urban area and 136 in the 2.6-square-kilometer old downtown.

"Springs have become a brand for Jinan," said Yang Luyu, the mayor of Jinan. "We will use this brand to attract more tourists from home and abroad."

An ancient poem depicts Jinan as a place where every household has a spring with weeping willows standing alongside. Records show 72 well-known springs, including the Baotu, Heihu (Black Tiger), Five Dragons and Pearl, are scattered throughout the old downtown area. Locals have utilized the springs for more than 2,600 years.

Jinan features a hilly area in the city's south, which is higher than the city's downtown area. The geographical drop impels the groundwater flow downward before it gushes out on the plain where the downtown area was built. The groundwater converges to form Daming Lake and a river that runs through the downtown area.

In recent years, the local government has worked hard to protect the springs. It has invested more than 2 billion yuan in projects to harness water from the nearby Yellow River, constructing reservoirs and reducing groundwater exploitation.

It has also invested 2.05 billion yuan to expand the scenic area of Daming Lake to 103.4 hectares from its original 74 hectares. The new scenic area is free for tourists and local residents to visit.

The government has invested more than 1 billion yuan to transform the city's moat river, forming a 6.9-km-long sightseeing route. By taking a boat ride along the river, passengers can see several springs. The scenic area was upgraded to a 5A-level National Scenic Area in 2012.

Jinan is also rich in geothermal resources, with hot springs covering 3,347 square kilometers, accounting for 41 percent of the total area of the city. The city has developed a number of hot spring resorts for residents and tourists. Last November, the China Mining Association named Jinan a City of Hot Springs.

Jinan is also working on applying for world heritage status for its springs. In September 2009, Jinan's springs were included on the second batch of China's national-level natural and cultural heritage list by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.


(China Daily 08/22/2015 page6)